10 Cheap Ways to Update an Ugly Kitchen
We're all cooking in the kitchen more these days and wouldn't it be nice to have a kitchen you love just as much as the food you cook in it? Not many of us are in a position to pay $80K or more for a high-end remodel but there are small and DIY ways to freshen up your kitchen and feel good about it. Whether you're a renter or homeowner, here are tips to modernize a less-than-beautiful kitchen with a simple remodel from floor to ceiling.
Kondo your kitchen. Maybe your kitchen isn't as ugly as you think; it could just be dirty and overly cluttered. Throw out anything you don't need or use anymore. Pressure-wash the walls and the floor and make sure the ceiling, countertops, and everything that you didn't throw out is as clean as possible. Group similar items together and organize the kitchen, even the pantry if you have one. Now take a look with fresh eyes. What needs updating now?
Disguise the ugly floor. If the floor still makes you frown, disguise it using area rugs around the sink and refrigerator. Another option would be to install linoleum tiles. There are modern versions popping up that make stone tile an unnecessary expense. Linoleum is made from renewable, all-natural materials like linseed oil, cork dust, and wood flour so it's easy to clean *and* you win planet-friendly points.
Give kitchen cabinets a facelift. You really don't need to replace your kitchen cabinets if your current set is solid wood and still in good shape. Start by replacing the outdated hinges and the knobs with more modern ones. Go a step further if you like by re-staining them to remove scratches, ugly color patterns, and oily stains, or go for a whole new paint job. Your choice of paint will depend on your budget and preferences. Need color help? Look here but bright white looks fresh and modern too.
Update lighting. Upgrade your lights with pendants and flush mounts to make the kitchen bright, warm, and welcoming. Replace the light switch panels with modern, top-of-the-line switches too. Alright, maybe not top of the line but the best for your budget.;)
Add wall art. Add a spark of personality, color, and dimension to the kitchen by adding wall art. It could be your favorite painting, framed pieces on a shelf, or a canvas print of foods and recipes. (Print shown Zuma Beach Malibu No. 7 by Kamala Nahas via Minted)
Add greenery. Create a hanging garden and plant rosemary, sage, mint, basil, and oregano, among other herbs. Herbs such as rosemary bring beautiful scents to your kitchen and are great for culinary seasoning. Remember to optimize sunlight by creating a garden near a south-facing window or if your budget allows, invest in a quality LED grow light to mimic the sun indoors. If you are not an herb person, you can transform your kitchen into a plant-filled paradise by bringing in a few potted green plants.
Paint the walls. Paint them yourself (don't forget the primer!) or hire a professional. Go for an accent wall, a pattern, or even a mural. Some of the colors you might consider for the kitchen include yellow and blue. Shades of yellow will make your kitchen feel warm, bright, and sunny. Most shades of blue are soothing and can calm an anxious mind.
Add a backsplash. Install a peel-and-stick removable tile (like this Mint Shell print) if you are a renter or just don't want to commit long-term. Removable wallpaper like the Lemon Branch print below also makes an amazing visual impact.
Dress up your appliances. A matching suite of new appliances would be a welcome makeover and make cooking/baking/cleaning way more enjoyable but they are extremely pricey. Instead, you can cover up what you already have. For example, you can cover an ugly fridge using contact paper or your oven with a stainless steel finish.
Add a centerpiece. Elevate your usual table setting with fresh-cut flowers or succulents or a bowl of fruit—anything that revamps the dinner for a more welcoming vibe on a budget.
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Jennifer Monroe is an architect. She is young and ambitious, with a degree in architecture. She has eight-plus years of experience in interior and exterior design. Her mission is to inspire others to live their dreams and create their perfect sweet homes.
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